November 29, 2006 07:40

This Joint Report on the Observance of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by the Russian Federation for the period from 2001 to 2005 was prepared jointly by the leading Russian NGOs, including: DEMOS Research Center, Public Verdict Foundation, Civic Assistance Committee, Memorial Human Rights Center, All-Russian Movement “For Human Rights”, “Social Partnership Foundation”, Union of Soldiers’ Mothers Committees of Russia, Nizhniy Novgorod Committee against Torture, Krasnoyarsk Public Committee for Human Rights Protection, Perm regional human rights defender center, Kazan Human Rights Center, Yorshkar-Ola organization “Man and Law”, Memorial Human Rights Commission of Komi Republic, the Public Interest Law Initiative, Mordovian Republican Human Rights Center, Public Problems Research Institute «United Europe», Tver Memorial Society, Krasnodar Organization “Mothers in Defense of the Rights of Those Arrested, Under Investigation and Convicted”, Association of human rights organizations of Sverdlovsk region, Chita Human Rights Center. The Public Verdict Foundation was responsible for general coordination; Demos Research Center was responsible for legal editing of the report.
This Report is submitted to the UN Committee against Torture within the framework of its examination of the Russia's Fourth Periodic Report on implementation of the Convention against Torture. The Report is aimed at comprehensively tackling the issues of observing in Russia the rights enshrined in the Convention and at drawing the Committee experts’ attention to the most burning problems in the sphere of these rights realization, which have not been reflected in the Russian Federation Report.
When working on the Report we did not strive to refute the official information and to confront the Russian Federation’s official position. We recognize that for several recent years some positive changes have taken place in the Russian Federation, primary in the penitentiary system. Our task was to present the position of nongovernmental organizations on the situation with torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in the most critical areas (police, military forces and penitentiary) in the Russian Federation so that the Committee experts could have the most comprehensive and objective opinion in this sphere. In particular, problem of impunity of tortures, conflicting functions of prosecution authorities that results in ineffective control over observation of human rights in the course of investigation of torture cases, absence of adequate system of compensation to victims of torture causes a great deal of concern among Russian human rights NGOs.
Information concerning new measures and implementation of the Convention’s articles are included in corresponding articles of the Report. Situation with observance of the Convention in Caucasus region is presented in separate section since this region is very special.
While preparing the Report we used materials of the monitoring of the situation with torture carried out in 2005 in 16 regions of the country and at the federal level, as well as the data provided by a whole number of Russian human rights nongovernmental organizations, and relevant reference to these data are given in the text. The absence of reference to the information source means that the data were presented by one of the organizations-authors of the Report. For additional information you can contact Public Verdict Foundation at ntaubina@publicverdict.org and DEMOS Research Center at shepeleva@demos-center.ru